Development of a multi-target screening analysis for 301 drugs using a QTrap liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry system and automated library searching

Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2005;19(10):1332-8. doi: 10.1002/rcm.1934.


A new multi-target screening (MTS) procedure for drugs in blood and urine for toxicological analysis has been developed using a hybrid triple-quadrupole linear ion trap mass spectrometer (QTrap) for the fast detection and identification of 301 forensically important drugs, e.g. tranquilizers (benzodiazepines), hypnotics, drugs of abuse (opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, cannabinoids), antidepressants, neuroleptics, and some cardiac drugs, in one single liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) analysis. Samples were extracted either with liquid-liquid extraction or solid-phase extraction. A multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) as survey scan and an enhanced product ion (EPI) scan as dependent scan were performed in an information-dependent acquisition (IDA) experiment. Finally, drug identification was carried out by library search with a newly developed MS/MS library based on EPI spectra at three different collision energies in positive mode. The advantage of this newly developed method is the possibility to detect and identify 301 drugs in one single LC/MS/MS run.

MeSH terms

  • Automation
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry / instrumentation*
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / blood*
  • Reference Standards
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations